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Porsche Approves Series Production of $650,000 918 Spyder Hybrid Sportscar

Porsche AG’s supervisory board approved production of the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car, a model that soars to 100 kilometers an hour in 3.2 seconds and may top the Carrera GT as the manufacturer’s costliest vehicle.

Porsche plans to develop the vehicle at a research facility near Stuttgart, Germany, where the carmaker is based, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. The car will be built at the main plant in Zuffenhausen.

The 918 Spyder, one of three hybrid models Porsche presented at the Geneva auto show in March, has attracted at least 2,000 non-binding submissions of interest, people familiar with the matter said on July 12. Porsche needs at least 1,000 sales pledges to sign off on building the car, development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said in April.

“The introduction of hybrids is now happening at all carmakers, with all models and Porsche has above average carbon dioxide emissions,” said Daniel Schwarz an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “It would also make sense to do it with the Cayenne as you would get the best results as far as carbon dioxide emissions are concerned.”

The supercar may be priced at about 500,000 euros ($650,000), topping the 453,000-euro Carrera GT of which no more than 1,500 were produced. Porsche Chief Executive Officer Michael Macht said in today’s statement that the 918 Spyder will also have a “limited production.”

Top Speed

The 918 Spyder may be introduced as early as 2013, Tim Schuldt, an analyst at Equinet AG in Frankfurt who recommends buying the stock, estimates.

The two-seater car accelerates to a top speed of 320 kilometers (199 miles) per hour, relying on a 500-horsepower V8 engine and electric drive-systems that allow the vehicle to run up to 25 kilometers on electric power.

Porsche agreed with worker representations on July 21 on measures to preserve jobs and improve productivity through 2015. The accord includes a pledge to build the 918 Spyder if the car draws sufficient interest, people familiar with the matter said on July 23.

Porsche plans to add models with a goal of doubling annual sales to as many as 150,000 vehicles over the medium term, and benefit from savings from a planned merger with Volkswagen AG.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andreas Cremer in Berlin at acremer@bloomberg.net.

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